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According to research 67% of Americans want to start a business. So if you are one of them, you are one of the millions that are ready to take the plunge to pursue this “great American dream”.

However, it’s important to make it a point that before rushing into something that might make you money, there’s a lot to consider. Remember, starting a business is a major life decision. If you don’t choose a business well, you could lose your shirt. But if you make a smart choice, you could find fun, fulfillment, greater control AND make lots of money along the way.

Statistics show that the average person spends 40 hours a week at work. If you start working at 21 and retire at 65, that’s approximately 91,520 hours of your life! That sounds like a lot, but contrasted with the hours you’ll log running your own business, it pales in comparison. That’s why it’s crucial to choose a business that you’re truly passionate and excited about. When you do something you love, you’ll have a much better chance of success and you will actually enjoy the longer hours.

Skills
Choose a business in which your true skills apply. For example, if you’re good with people, then select a business that relies heavily on interpersonal activity, such as consulting, sales or public relations. The important thing is to find a business in which you will really shine in the critical functions of that business.

Lifestyle
Choose a business that suits your lifestyle needs. For example, if you want to work at home, consider an e-commerce business instead of something that requires traveling for customer sales calls and meetings. If you require flexibility in your schedule, consider a business specializing in logo and brand development, writing or other “project-oriented” businesses where keeping specific hours is not critical.

Finances
If you don’t want to raise money or get investors involved, pick something that you can grow organically without outside funding. Start small and let the business revenues provide the operational and growth capital you’ll need. Some businesses are much less capital intensive to start up than others, like a consulting business.

Exit Strategy
From the very beginning, you need to decide whether you want to build your business and sell it in the future or have it provide a lifelong source of income with no need to cash in on your efforts. This will help you in choosing the right business structure now, to eliminate major legal and tax headaches down the road.

Don’t be one of the many discouraged and bored entrepreneurs out there who failed to consider these various factors. Instead, take the time and effort to carefully consider your options and choose the right path.
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